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Just how banged up are Tottenham Hotspur?

There’s been a lot of bad news on the injury front lately. Let’s take a minute and take stock.

Tottenham Hotspur FC v Bayer 04 Leverkusen - UEFA Champions League Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images

Seven. That’s how many Tottenham Hotspur players are currently listed on PhysioRoom as having some sort of an injury right now, and there were rumors of more players carrying knocks or minor issues. As healthy as Spurs were last season, it feels as though karma has struck back with a vengeance the past couple of months, and in particular the past two weeks. Story after story in the media have reported issues with player injuries either in training or while on international duty.

Spurs got through this far without losing in the league, but few would consider their stretch of matches following the Manchester City win to be anything close to a success. The sense that Spurs were a bit adrift was in part due to the injuries to Toby Alderweireld and Harry Kane, two of Tottenham’s best players and key contributors in last year’s title run.

Kane has returned to fitness, if just barely, but there are lots of Spurs players who are nursing everything from knocks to bum knees. It’s probably good to give a short summary of what we know and what it might mean for Spurs’ lineup against West Ham this coming Saturday.

The Good

Mousa Dembele

Moose started the North London Derby and looked good doing it, so many were justifiably freaked out when Belgium manager Roberto Martinez ruled him out of the Red Devils’ two international matches this week. However, the prognosis was “soft tissue” issues, which implies more that he might have had a minor strain or muscle fatigue. It’s likely Moose will be back for Saturday.

Christian Eriksen

Spurs’ Danish dynamo picked up what the Danish national team called a “slight injury” during their 4-1 win over Kazakhstan earlier this week. It was enough to send him home, but it appears that it’s not too big a deal and he should be in the frame to play against the Hammers. We may know more later in the week.

Son Heung-Min

It came out last week that Sonny’s been playing with a foot injury for the past few weeks. That was scary, and could explain why he went from purple patch to disappearing man lately. However, he just finished playing 90 minutes for Korea in their 2-1 WCQ win over Uzbekistan. My guess is he’s fine.

Victor Wanyama

Twitter was abuzz today with rumors that Victor picked up an injury with Kenya today in a win over Liberia. I can’t find any confirmation of any sort of injury. He was subbed off early in the second half, but that appeared to be a tactical decision and not because he was carrying a knock. Let’s chill out on this one.

The Bad

Dele Alli

Dele apparently sustained a knee injury in training just before the North London Derby, and the line from the club is that it would rule him out “for a few weeks.” That’s all kinds of bad, and since Tottenham is known, and I say this as an understatement, to lie about injuries, I would guess that it’ll be a while before we see him on the pitch again, probably not until at least December. With Dele out, that probably means Eriksen shifting centrally and someone like Mousa Sissoko or Son Heung-Min coming in on the flank.

Ben Davies

Davies picked up an ankle injury in Spurs’ Champions League loss to Bayer Leverkusen, and Spurs have already ruled him out for the upcoming matches West Ham, Monaco and Chelsea. That means a lot of games coming up for Danny Rose, though we might also see Jan Vertonghen shift out wide in his relief if he needs a breather.


Toby Alderweireld

Toby has been out of commission for the past few weeks with what at first looked like a serious ACL injury but was later described as “nerve damage” in his knee. That prompted a hopeful prognosis when the scans came back negative, but it’s proven to take longer than expected for him to get back to fitness. Alderweireld has been “close” to a return for a while now, the nature of the injury means that we still have no idea when to expect a return. PhysioRoom has him as back in time for West Ham, but we won’t really know until Poche names him to the team.

Of all the injuries to Tottenham players, Toby’s is perhaps the most important to Tottenham’s overall tactics. With Toby out of the lineup, Eric Dier moves out of his best position and into the center of defense, which impacts the midfield and the transition between defense and attack. Get Toby healthy and fit, and I start to feel like all of Tottenham’s puzzle pieces are in the right places.

Vincent Janssen

Concussions are no joke, and that’s exactly what happened to Vincent Janssen in the Netherlands’ match against Belgium last week when he clattered with Simon Mignolet while they both went up for a loose ball. Janssen apparently lost about 20 minutes of memory after the incident and was sent home to recuperate at Tottenham. He’s no doubt gotten a good amount of rest and relaxation, but concussions being what they are I would still put him as questionable for this weekend.

Erik Lamela

Lamela has been out for a while with a hip injury sustained during training. We haven’t gotten any information about the extent of his injury or when we might expect him to play again, but he was not called up to Argentina’s national team for this break. PhysioRoom has a return date of November 19 for him, which implies he might be ready for West Ham, but always take those dates with a huge grain of salt.